Central Asian Studies
Photo by Thijs Broekkamp
CALL FOR APPLICATIONS
DURATION: FEBRUARY 1 – APRIL 30, 2021
Deadlines for Application and Tuition Fee:
Application Deadline: October 31, 2020
Announcement of Selected Students: November 15, 2020
First payment installment, 500 USD: November 30, 2020
Second payment installment 1,000 USD: December 31, 2020
The Central Asia Program (CAP) is happy to announce the launch of the online Central Asian Studies Program for individuals from Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, and Azerbaijan. Part of the Institute for European, Russian, and Eurasian Studies (IERES) at The George Washington University’s Elliott School of International Affairs, the Central Asia Program has designed this unique and tailor-made online program for students and mid-career professionals who seek to strengthen their research and writing skills in Central Asian affairs, as well as gain experience in grant writing and non-profit management. The program is ideal for those who want to expand their knowledge in Central Asian affairs without committing to a long-term degree program.
Why Central Asian Studies Program?
Central Asia has a chronic and acute lack of public policy experts and opportunities for young professionals to hone their analytical skills are few and far between. Yet the existence of a cadre of independent experts and analysts is key to the creation of “vibrant and tolerant democracies whose governments are accountable to their citizens.” Our CASP program aims to foster the next generation of thought leaders and policy experts in Central Asia. It provides young professionals (policy experts, scholars, activists, journalists) with the opportunity to develop their research, analytical, and communication skills in order to become effective leaders within their communities.
As part of the Institute for European, Russian, and Eurasian Studies, the #1 university-affiliated regional studies center in the U.S., our program offers a platform for the exchange of ideas and builds lasting intellectual networks, both among Central Asians and between them and the U.S. policy, scholarly, and activist communities. The CASP aims to develop and strengthen the connection between Central Asian students and well recognized American scholars on the region by engaging a worldwide network of experts associated with the Central Asia Program. As a leading publisher on the region with an established editorial system, our program offers special training on how to get published that is prepared by the members of our editorial team. Last but not least, CASP increases and helps disseminate knowledge about Central Asian viewpoints in both the United States and Central Asia.
The CASP is unique in that it comprises a curriculum that:
- Advances knowledge of about the Central Asian region
- Sharpens analytical skills
- Teaches methodological research skills
- Develops oral and written communication skills
- Cultivates leadership skills through project-based, non-profit management training
- Connects students with broader policy, academic, and activist networks
- Offers students an alumni structure within which to foster their visibility both individually and as a group in order to influence a Central Asian readership
In addition, this program is distinctive in that it underscores the fact that Central Asians have crucial contributions to make regarding international decisions about the region.
This new iteration of GW’s Central Asia and Azerbaijan Fellowship will be organized entirely online and will be delivered through the interactive teaching software Top Hat. All the documentation (articles and books) needed for the program will be prepared and given to each student in an electronic format.
The CASP Online Program consists of three courses:
Theories of Social Sciences applied to Central Asian Studies – 12 classes, 1h30
The Theories of Social Sciences applied to Central Asian Studies class will present the main social sciences theories applied to today’s Central Asia. It aims at helping the students to access state of the art knowledge on social sciences theories that matter for understanding Central Asia today: political regimes, authoritarianism, democratization, populism, nationalism, identity politics, memory studies, and social mobilization and activism. The class will include 3 readings a week, a PPT lecture, and a reading-based discussion.
Professors: Marlene Laruelle, CAP Director, with guest lectures by Alexander Cooley (Columbia University), S. Frederic Starr (Central Asia-Caucasus Institute), Amb. John E. Herbst (Atlantic Council), Erica Marat (National University Defense), Mariya Omelicheva (War College, National Defense University), Edward Lemon (Daniel Morgan Graduate School of National Security), etc.
Writing on Central Asia– 12 classes, 1h30
The Writing on Central Asia course will use a set of unique writing guidelines based on the extensive editing experience of CAP editors, who have worked with 100+ papers and articles from Central Asian authors in Russian and English. They will take into account the conventional writing of Central Asia students that often needs to be significantly adjusted in order to be well received in an English-speaking environment. The guidelines will cover writing needs from selecting a topic to style, grammar, and narration. In particular, they seek to teach students how to select a narrower focus of their topics and structure their papers accordingly, avoiding long introductions, deviations into theory or historical backgrounds, and instead focusing on an argumentative core and convincing conclusion. Using real examples from the writing and “before and after” exercises, the guidelines will help to improve the style and grammar of the papers, teaching how to write shorter and clearer sentences and paragraphs; how to eliminate Russian language wordiness and repetitions, and include practical examples (case studies, personal stories). In addition, the course will teach the students to learn how to read, understand, summarize, synthesize and narrate the writing of others. While the main course will focus on English writing, students will have the opportunity to sign up for an additional Russian writing course. The availability of the Russian class will be contingent upon students’ interest and enrollment rate.
Professors: Aitolkyn Kourmanova, CAP Senior Writer Editor, and Marlene Laruelle, CAP Director, with guest lectures by Catherine Pulz from The Diplomat and Erica Marat from National Defense University.
Grant Writing and Non-Profit Management – 12 classes, 1 hour
The Grant Writing and Non-Profit Management class provides an overview of central concepts in the grant application process and managing non-profit organizations. It is designed to equip students with the necessary knowledge and skills to turn their ideas and passion into strategic plans, search for potential donors, and develop a concise grant proposal. The second half of this course aims to prepare grantees to successfully carry out their projects by providing best practices in organizational development, program management, leadership and communication skills, team management and more. Through project-based learning, students will have their ideas drafted in grant proposals and gain insight into establishing and running their own non-profits.
Professor: Jennet Akmyradova, CAP Deputy Director
- Each week, students will be provided with approximately 30-40 pages of preparatory reading for Theories of Social Sciences applied to Central Asian Studies and asked to submit a 200-word response to one or more of the “issues for consideration” on that week’s topic. These weekly responses provide participants an opportunity to think critically about the week’s topic in advance of the weekly discussion session. There will be at least two readings every week for the class.
- Each week, students will have a small writing assignment for the class Writing on Central Asia.
- We may be dividing the students in an English-speaking and a Russian-speaking team.
- A final online seminar open to the public where the students present their research.
- A short final individual paper or a co-authored paper.
In order to receive the certificate of completion of the Central Asian Studies Program, students will need to have 1. attended at least 85% of the classes, 2. submitted written reflections for at least ten of the twelve weeks of the course, 3. participated in the public event, 4. submitted a final paper.
- Applicants must hold citizenship from one of these countries: Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, and Azerbaijan;
- Background in government, public policy, education, academia, journalism, and advocacy.
- Applicants must be fluent in both written and spoken English.
- Successful completion of an academic degree of higher education (BA, MA, MSc, Diploma) in a related academic field.
- Proof of citizenship from one of the Central Asian countries or Azerbaijan (passport copy).
- A letter of motivation;
- A two-page research project on which you would like to work;
- A résumé (CV);
- Proof of English Language Proficiency (Test score results (TOEFL, IELTS and etc.,) or an explanation for the exemption;
- Two reference names.